Monday, July 02, 2007

West Seattle Parents Fight Back...and Actually Get Some Notice

I have always had my doubts about parents having much power in our district. This was recently confirmed to me when my son's school went ahead with continuing late start days despite losing the grant that help organize them and without any parent/student input. I had written to Carla Santorno about this and she agreed that parents deserved to know why the school was using late start days, should coordinate with nearby schools (like a middle school near a high school) and the purpose and outcome for each day.

I think her reply was great but for the fact that, despite this issue affecting every single student and parent at a school, neither of those two groups has any say. It's frustrating to say the least.

But over in West Seattle, parents have been fighting to end the 4-period day they currently have to change to the 6-period day (which all the high schools have). Here are some links to the issue:

Article from 7/1
Editorial from 7/1
Pro-letter to Editor for 4-period day
Con-letter to Editor for 6-period day

It's interesting that the parents involved have been called "a small group of vocal parents" because that phrase gets used a lot whenever the media want to marginalize a group of people. Small groups often speak for larger groups who, for whatever reason, don't get involved. It's unlikely that the editor of the Herald would have written his editorial if it were only a small group of parents. When I read his editorial I was struck by how carefully the writer tries to explain the viewpoint and expresses concern over how the district has handled the matter.

Good for those parents; it'll be interesting to see what Carla does.

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